Summer is here with temperatures already approaching 100. Challenge: To find a family friendly activity that we had never done before! Answer: Kayaking in nearby Long Beach. There is a neat little island called Naples that has canals that you can kayak through similar to the Venice canals (but in my opinion much better since it is spread out with more potential destinations and of course Moon Jellies! My family enjoyed kayaking so much we went two weekends in a row! It couldn't be easier with ample free street parking and five minutes later you are paddling off in a kayak. Great exercise and a great way to explore a the island of Naples.
I've been to Long Beach many times over the years, but for some reason or another I had not ventured down there to go kayaking or enjoy the beach. We usually visited the Aquarium which is another awesome nearby destination. If you have a whole day you could easily do both. Both times we visited, the weather was great, no June gloom as far as the eye could see. The white sand beaches across the street are a bit windy but that entices all the people with their kites and kite surfers so there is a lot of great people watching to enjoy.
One of the beach cottages in Long Beach, California
You can rent the kayaks online before you arrive, all you have to do is watch a quick safety video, then show them the email confirmation once you arrive on site, strap on your lifejacket and off you go! You don't even have to pay a deposit so if you are late for your reservation, it's no problem. Once you arrive, they start the clock and it's $12 an hr per person, they charge by the minute for overages so you only pay for what you use.
The first time we went, we focused mainly on exploring the canals. There are so many quaint homes along the water, it's fun to check out the quirky nautical themed boat names along the route. The water is pretty calm and there isn't too much traffic, there's plenty of room to spread out so it's fine for young children, even pets! We saw many pups in their lifejackets on paddle boards.
The second time we went we wanted to kayak out to see the Moon Jellies which is a bit farther but so worth the effort! We are strong kayakers so it took us about 1.5 hrs round trip with about 25 minutes looking at and enjoying the jellyfish. It can get a little windy on the water which made the return a little harder but if you take your time and go slow anyone could do it.
The Moon Jellies are a seasonal natural attraction. They prefer the warmer summer months so June through September is the best time to go. One of the canals way at the end has thousands of them along the canal wall.
You can see the kayak was surrounded by jellyfish. You can reach your hand and touch them, they don't sting and are harmless. They feed off of plankton in the water so they like to swim close to the water's surface.
Kayaking, is such a great way to get out of house, disconnect from screens and reconnect with nature. After a day of exercise and sun, you will be relaxed and ready for a nap!
Now after all that kayaking, you've probably worked up an appetite! There are many great lunch options nearby. You can either walk about a 5 min walk down the beach to 2nd street where there are cute cafes and outdoor restaurants up and down the block, or you can drive to local brewery Ballast Point. Ballast Point is very popular since it has outdoor seating along the water, I recommend going on there Yelp page and signing up for the waitlist about 1.5 hours before your desired lunch time. It's in a large retail center so there is tons of free parking.
You scan a QR code on the table and order through your phone. Everything comes out pretty quickly, if you want to be able to add on to your order (additional drinks etc) I recommend either making an account within the app or leaving your tab open. They have a great kids meal that comes with a slice of watermelon and a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie. The cheeseburger was yummy too!
5411 E Ocean Blvd,
Long Beach, CA 90803
110 N Marina Dr
Long Beach, CA